Smartphone Buying Guide: The pace with which new features are available on smartphones, its common for users to upgrade their phones every year or so. But choosing a new phone is not an easy task, even when you intend to buy a top of the line, flagship phone.
There are several options available, each of them claiming to offer the best features. That’s why we have put together this guide, to help you chose the right phone for your needs.
These general guidelines will help you zero-in on the right model.
Get a Smartphone that is Big on Power
Top end phones come with lots of features, and they also provide good storage space. You don’t want your smart phone to get bogged down, when you’re accessing all those features.
You need a phone that’s zippy (even under tremendous load) for you to enjoy that experience.
A dual core processor is an absolute minimum requirement today, flagship phones even feature a quad core processor (get that one if you’re hands-on with all the features). 1.3 GHz is usually good enough speed, but again, the more the better.
Bigger is Better
There was a time when users preferred compact models, but not any longer, because of the features that are available (you’re practically carrying a compact computer).
That is why “oversized” smart phone/tablet hybrids are in nowadays. 4 inches is the absolute minimum that most people are comfortable with today.
Make Sure You Understand the Operation
The operating system of the phone is what makes your experience more enjoyable (and even ruins it). So make sure you like the operating system that your new device is running on, before making the purchase.
The top operating systems in the mobile world today are the iOS platform from Apple, the Android platform from Google, and the Windows Phone platform from Microsoft.
Each of them have benefits and drawbacks that you’ll need to understand ahead of time, but all of them offer an advanced set of tools and features that most people are going to fall in love with.
Finally, Sign Up for a Reliable Network
Finally, you need to choose the right network for your new smartphone, if you really want to enjoy the experience.
After investing so much money on the best phone, you don’t want your phone to suffocate in a terrible network.
Choose a network that will allow you to use all of the features (including connectivity related) that your flagship phone provides, without any degradation of service.
Understand these basics, and you’re good to bu your next smartphone!
With the right smartphone cell phone you can talk, email, surf the Web, instant message, take pictures, and do more. To narrow down your smartphone choices, decide which operating system and features you need.
Get Smart About Smartphones
Different types of smartphones are designed for different types of people. Some, like the Palm Treo and Blackberry, keep you connected to the office, while others, like the T-Mobile Sidekick 3, focus on mobile messaging, and still others, like the Samsung Blackjack, Motorola Q, and Apple iPhone, give you ultimate multimedia mobility. Cell phone service providers around the world typically offer several smartphone options and tiers of service. Decide which operating system and features are on your list before you sign a service contract.
All About the Operating System
For smartphones with full PDA functionality, the operating system (OS) you choose helps determine what you’ll get out of your smartphone. For example, the iPhone runs on Mac OS X and includes the Safari Web browser. Other options include:
Windows Mobile smartphones: A Windows Mobile smartphone is a good choice for many business users. It seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Exchange, so you can use it to get and respond to your work email (consult your IT department), and it makes viewing Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Windows Media files easy as well. There are many third-party applications that make Windows Mobile smartphones more versatile.
Palm OS smartphones: Palm smartphones run the Palm OS. Although program variety can be limited, many programs are award-winners. Palm OS is very stable and designed to run on devices with low processor speeds.
Symbian smartphones: Although not the largest player in the U.S. market, Symbian is the most popular mobile OS around the world. Symbian smartphones, like the Nokia E62, come with email and Microsoft Office file viewers.
You get a smartphone for one reason: to stay in constant contact with work, home, and the Web. The following technologies can help you stay connected.
3G: For more seamless email, messaging, and downloads, look for 3G smartphones. 3G technologies such as UMTS and HSDPA (from T-Mobile and AT&T Wireless) and EV-DO (used by Verizon Wireless and Sprint) are significantly faster than previous 2.5G data services.
Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM): If you’d like to use your smartphone almost anywhere in the world, look for GSM smartphones. They deliver high digital voice quality, and you can typically find lower international roaming rates (for details, check with your service provider). If you don’t plan on traveling outside of your calling and data plan’s local area, CMDA or TDMA networks may suit your needs.
Bluetooth: Talk without wires. Bluetooth-enabled smartphones let you connect to other Bluetooth devices, such as Bluetooth headsets, that are less than 30 feet away. You can even use some Bluetooth smartphones as wireless modems for Bluetooth-enabled laptops.
Wi-Fi: Tap into wireless 802.11b or 802.11g networks with a Wi-Fi-enabled smartphone so you can share files with computers on a network or access the Internet.
Infrared: An infrared port can come in handy if you want to transfer data a short distance to another infrared device.
USB: Look for smartphones that use USB to transfer data to and from your computer. Some smartphones can also charge over USB.
What’s Your Must-Have Smartphone Features?
Find features that can add a lot to your smartphone experience.
Unlocked: An unlocked smartphone will work with any service provider that supports the specific technology of the phone.
QWERTY Keyboard: Smartphones typically come with a full QWERTY keyboard to help you quickly type emails and instant messages.
Speakerphone: Smartphones with a speakerphone make conference calls easy and let you chat with friends while you do stuff around the house.
Digital Camera: Take photos wherever you go or save images as custom screensavers. Look for a smartphone with a 1.3-megapixel digital camera or better. Many even include a camcorder feature.
Multimedia Playback: Bring music and video to your smartphone with an integrated MP3 player, video player, or multimedia player that supports both music and video.
Internet Browser: Smartphones that support Mobile Web 2.0 allow you to surf pages designed to be viewed on cell phones, while other smartphones support full Internet browsing capabilities.
Global Positioning System (GPS): If your service provider offers turn-by-turn directions, consider a GPS smartphone with navigation software.
Charger: Most smartphones come with an included wall charger, but you may want to consider a car charger as well.